The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/06

Posted on | June 6, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/06

Scripture reading: Luke 4:16–30

Quelle Différence

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18)

 

When we lived in France, we loved to drive 3–4 hours northwest of Paris to visit Normandy. It wasn’t just the rolling hills, Gothic churches, and medieval castles that attracted us, it was the memory of what happened during World War II. The Battle of Normandy began on June 6, 1944, when allied forces invaded Hitler’s “fortress Europe.” Along those forty miles of beach, one can still see Nazi fortifications and imagine the courage of those American, British, and Canadian soldiers who fought their way ashore. The American cemetery at Omaha Beach, where over 9,000 soldiers are buried, is a sober reminder of the cost involved in winning the battle that redefined the twentieth century.

Not long after our first trip to Normandy, we were sharing a meal with some of our French neighbors when the subject turned to vacations. Jean-Paul and Monique shared about their summer and then turned to us, “And what did you do for your vacation?” they asked in French. I was still in language school and my French was broken, but I managed to explain that we had visited “the invasion beaches.” “We’ve never heard of the invasion beaches,” our French hosts responded. “Where are they?”

I was dumbfounded, appalled, disgusted! “These French!” I said to myself. “Is it possible they don’t know? Don’t they realize how many thousands of men gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy so that they could be freed from Nazi tyranny? Quelle horreur!”

A few moments later, however, everything changed when I discovered the fault was mine, not theirs. I simply hadn’t learned yet the French name for those beaches! Jean-Paul knew all about Jour-J (D-Day) and was deeply grateful for what happened there. It was when I spoke of the “invasion” that he had become confused. “Mais non,” he said. “We were not invaded! We were liberated! For the Nazis, yes, it was certainly an invasion. But for us, it was une liberation glorieuse.

What a difference one’s perspective makes. For the Americans, the Battle of Normandy was an invasion. But for the French it was a day of liberation. It all depends which side one is on!

Now look at another battle field. Calvary is the place where God and Satan fought to determine the destiny of the world. What do you see when you contemplate the cross of Christ? An invasion? Do you feel threatened by Someone who comes to change your life and take over your world? Or do you see the cross as an act of liberation, setting you free from the forces of evil that have so long ravaged your soul?

At the cross, God established a beachhead. Though the war is far from over we can be sure that the day is coming when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever (Revelation 11:15). Does this make you shout for joy or cringe in terror? Do you feel invaded? or liberated? It depends, of course, which side you are on.

 

Truth is meant to save you first, and the comfort comes afterwards.

—Georges Bernanos

 

point to ponder Battles for liberation are nearly always bloody. The cost of freedom is high.

prayer focus One who sees Jesus as a threat rather than a liberator.

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